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Building Blocks for Baby: Optimal Nutrition for breastfeeding Mums

This month's blog will delve into what you need to know about nutrition during breastfeeding. You may be thinking "Shouldn't I be eating the same as I did before I was pregnant?" Read on to learn why this isn't the case.

Why do I have to eat differently while I'm breastfeeding?

Let's break it down for you;

  • You carried a human for ~9 whole long months

  • You went through labour and the delivery process- you need to recover physically, emotionally, mentally

  • Now you have to look after a whole new human in your life (and not just your husband if you know what I mean😉)

  • You are probably exhausted and it may now be prolonged with getting used to having a baby ie. getting up regularly for feeds, getting back to life, and attempting to look after yourself

Not only is your body still recovering from the 9 months of rapid body changes, it still has to work to produce milk. Additionally, as your milk becomes an essential part of your bub's nutrition, you need to have additional nutrients to meet you and your bub's nutrient requirements.

What nutrients increase during lactation?

  • Protein (increase up to 25%)

  • Fluids

  • Iron

  • Calcium

  • Vitamin B12 (if vegan, vegetarian)

  • Iodine

  • Vitamin D

  • Overall energy increases by an additional 300-400 calories or 2-2.1 MJ

What can I do to ensure I get all the essential nutrients?

Adding an additional meal or having at least 3 decent-sized snacks daily should be enough to meet your requirements. Some examples of what 2.1 MJ looks like are:

  • 2x Peanut butter sandwiches on multigrain bread

  • 1x Cheese toastie made with multigrain bread and 2-minute noodles

  • Smoothie with 1 cup cows milk, water, banana, 1 cup berries, 1/2 cup oats, 2 tsp peanut butter and 2x tsp psyllium husk

  • 2x piece of dark lindt chocolate + snack tub of greek yoghurt + handful of mixed nuts +1x banana

Whether you are about to start your conception, pregnancy or breastfeeding journey, it is a great idea to have at least one session with a dietitian knowledgeable in prenatal or pregnancy nutrition. Need advice? Book a session with me here by filling out the form!

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